Saturday, January 4, 2014

#15 Pineapple Wine

Recipe     -     Tasting

Every so often inspiration strikes and I come up with a brilliant idea.  Most of the time I wake up the next morning and realize it wasn't as great an idea as I thought.  Sometimes I go ahead and do it anyway.  That's the story of this recipe.

Shortly after I started brewing, I thought it would be really cool to ferment pineapple juice.  I've always thought Caribou Lou sounded tasty until I actually tried it, so this would be an opportunity to improve on that idea and make something potable.  Nobody actually makes anything like this (except one place in Maui) so that's not a good sign, but emboldened by the success of the apple cider, I decided to go for it anyway.  To kick things up a notch (and mirror the Malibu rum) I think I'll age part of this on coconut.  Will it be raw or toasted?  I don't know maybe both.

Pineapple Wine
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal

5 gal   Pineapple Juice
2 lbs   Corn Sugar (Dextrose)

.35 oz  Raw Flaked Coconut
.35 oz  Toasted Flaked Coconut
.2 oz   Amarillo Hops

4       Campden Tablets
1 tsp   Pectic Enzyme
1 tsp   Yeast Nutrient
1.0 pkg Lalvin 71B-1122

Estimated Cost: $52

I've read that many yeast strains struggle in such an acidic environment.  In fact, I use an acid sanitizer to kill wild yeast and bacteria on my brewing equipment.  This yeast strain is particularly good at fermenting the malic acid in the pineapple, breaking it down into lactic acid (the same kind found in sour beers) and smoothing out the flavor.

I added the campden tablets 24 hrs before the yeast, then the pectic enzyme and yeast nutrient 12 hrs before.

Yeast rehydrated and pitched at 59F.

3 days: No apparent activity.  It was next to the more active Kolsch, so the fridge dropped the wine's temp to around 58F.  Controller bumped to 62F.

2 weeks: Looks like it had a nice healthy ferment after the bump in temp because of the yeast scum remaining on the glass.  Plenty of thin pulp settled to the bottom of the fermenter on top of the yeast.  Racked to secondary, but only got 4 gal without the lees.  Topped up with almost 1 gal of water to avoid oxidation, but thinking back, this may have been a bad idea, it already tasted great.

Racked onto coconut after a month and a half in secondary.  One gallon on raw coconut, one gallon on toasted coconut, and half a gallon onto .2 oz of amarillo hops.  Because why not.  You can see the degree of toast in the image above.  The rest of the wine was racked into a fresh carboy.  Returned to temperature control at 68F.

Bottled 3/9/14:
I bottled all of the pineapple wine after one week on the adjuncts.  The temperature in the refrigerator go screwed up, so when I went to check on it, it was all the way up to 85F.  This probably increased the flavor extraction, but after the wine chilled it tasted ok, so I doubt it was that big of a deal.  I had planned on blending the different varieties if the coconut was too much, but decided just to let it ride; I didn't get a very good read on them as I was pretty congested and the wine was too warm.  There are only a few bottles of each variety anyway, so we might have to do some blending experiments later to prepare for batch two.  Because I'm pretty sure there will be another.

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